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Fiji Time: 7:07 PM on Saturday 26 July

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What the politicians say on Crime

Nasik Swami And Dawn Gibson
Saturday, June 21, 2014

JESE SIKIVOU, Social Democratic and

Liberal Party, communications director

A GOVERNMENT that removes an elected

government by force, signals to the nation and its people that it is acceptable to commit a crime and to disregard law and order. That attitude has transcended all boundaries and communities in Fiji and it sends the wrong message to our young men and women. Increased crime rate in Fiji is an indication of the blatant disregard for law and order which the coups brought about. It is also attributable to the loss of income as a result of businesses closing down, disintegration of Christian values and principles and inability to meet basic needs for families. The national election in September 17 will bring back a government that is elected democratically by the people and is owned by the people who will reinforce democratic governance, human rights, and the rule of law. A SODELPA government will uphold and enforce the rule of law, good governance, transparency and social justice, ensure a credible and transparent election process is maintained, uphold and reinforce Christian principles and values and provide policies that prevent all corrupt practices

and behaviour.

PROFESSOR BIMAN PRASAD, National

Federation Party leader

THE NFP has heard many horrific and sad

accounts of criminal activities from victims that have had a severe impact on their livelihood. Many victims, in both urban and rural areas, have told us, they have little faith in the ability of police to prevent crime in the first place, or even apprehend those allegedly involved in violent crimes. A well equipped modern police force is needed to combat crime. The NFP will increase the salaries of police officers, policemen and policewomen, as well as officers of Fiji Corrections Service. We will modernise the police force with a budgetary provision for equipment and vehicles so that police are visible throughout the country at all times. The NFP will provide duty and tax

concessions on car and home security

equipment.

ROSHIKA DEO, Independent candidate,

Be the Change campaign leader

CRIMES of violence against women and

children probably are the highest crimes that occur in Fiji, but whether it all gets reported to the police, investigated and prosecuted is another matter. To address the crime rates in Fiji it is important that we start looking at preventive measures, including enforcement of laws. Preventive measures would be achieving gender equality, sharing of power and resources, alleviation of poverty, proper and non-judgmental health care and rehabilitation services for substance abuse and a comprehensive, pro-active social welfare system. The police force needs to be adequately resourced and trained, with training incorporated in their recruitment process, to better perform their jobs, and for greater accountability. We must also demand and work to end our culture of impunity by reporting all crimes and holding people, including the military and the police, accountable for their actions, and speaking truth to power. No one should be above

the law.

AMAN RAVINDRA-SINGH, Peoples

Democratic Party, general secretary

THE current high rate of crime is a sad

reflection of Fiji today and this issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The lack of job opportunities together with the high rate of unemployment and cost of living contributes to the high rate of crimes. You only need to look into the current prison population around the country to realise the crisis on hand. We cannot rid society of crime by continuing to send people to prison and we must deal with the problems that lead to crime. PDP will deal with this issue as a matter of urgency. PDP will create jobs that put our youths into employment and off the streets. Youths off the streets and in employment will lessen the amount of crimes committed in society and against members of society, lessen the amount of criminal cases, lessen the amount of people who become criminals and in

turn will reduce our prison population.

MAHENDRA CHAUDHRY

Fiji Labour Party leader/ general secretary

CRIME is a serious social problem — close

off-shoots of unemployment and poverty. Criminal activities also tend to proliferate in a society where there is no respect for the rule of law. It is, therefore, not surprising that we have seen an upsurge in criminal activities and home invasions since the 1987 coups. It is a government's moral duty to ensure protection to its citizens and their properties and ensure they feel safe in their homes. As with other social problems, Fiji's increasing crime situation requires a holistic approach to address it. Strong economic growth and increased national productivity would create better job opportunities and improve the quality of life of our people. At the same time, law enforcement agencies should receive adequate resources, manpower and funds to be able to combat crime effectively. We note that our police force has been badly demoralised by the government's policies in the past eight years.


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